The RSPB have published a full report into their review of gamebird shooting. Below is an extract taken from their website where the full article is available.
As one of the strongest opponents to the management of heather moorland for this practice, this is obviously only one side of the debate but it does make interesting reading. Many of the wildest places in the UK aren’t wild at all. Large areas are managed for shooting gamebirds.
This land use has a massive impact on the environment and on wildlife. In recent decades management has become increasingly intensive to produce more gamebirds to shoot, leading to bigger environmental impacts. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Why the RSPB is speaking out We’re facing a climate and ecological emergency and losing our wildlife at a frightening rate. From individuals to big business, we all have a role to play in reversing these worrying trends. Research has shown that when land is managed for gamebird shooting, it often involves practices that are damaging for the environment and harmful for many species of birds and other animals. The RSPB wants to see an end to these unsustainable practices, and for damaged areas of the countryside to be restored in a way that benefits everyone. The current situation Less than 10% of the UK is built on. Much of the remaining land is managed for rural industries like farming, forestry and shooting.
Shooting is widespread in the UK. In lowland areas, the biggest shoots involve pheasants and red-legged partridges, with tens of millions of these non-native birds released into the countryside each year. In upland areas, the birds shot are mostly wild red grouse. There are two types of grouse shooting; driven (which involves very intensive land and wildlife management) and walked-up (which is far less intensive). Your views The RSPB announced a review of our policy on gamebird shooting and its associated land management in October 2019. As part of that, in early 2020 we sought the views of our members, staff and volunteers, as countryside, animal welfare, and shooting organisations. The majority of members, staff and volunteers shared our concerns about gamebird shooting and supported the conservation principles we developed. Some individuals supported gamebird shooting whilst others wished to see some sort of ban.
FULL RESULTS HERE Working together to protect our precious places Rural industries, like shooting, need to find more sustainable ways of working.